Sunday, May 30, 2010

Psalms 121:1-2

"I lift my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."

Just as the city of Estes Park is surrounded by the majestic Rocky Mountains and joy can be found in spendng time exploring them, I am surrounded by God and find eternal joy in exploring His Word and spending time in daily fellowship with the creator of these mountains!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Guess where we are now??

If you guessed the rocky mountains, you are absolutely correct. We are parked at Elk Meadow RV Resort in the town of Estes Park, Colorado-just a stone's throw from the entrance to the national park. This is our third day and we will be here until June 7th. After the high winds and snow we experienced on Monday we began to question our plans. But today with the sunshine and predicted 70 degree temps we are happy to be here and ready to take our first hike into the mountains.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

April 19, 1995

Between 9:01 a.m. and 9:03 a.m. on April 19, 1995, Oklahoma City stood still as an act of incredible violence rocked it's core destroying the lives of 168, 19 of which were children, and permanently altering the lives of many hundreds of people. The story is told in a remarkable manner as you quietly walk through the Oklahoma City National Museum. Stepping off the elevator on the third floor you embark on a step by step reenactment of that fateful day. A still heaviness rests on your shoulders as you view items found in the debris, from a woman's wristwatch to a child's shoe. Reverently walking through the "photo gallery" of those killed in the blast tears form in your eyes and no words are spoken. After spending over an hour in the museum you are further impacted by the outdoor symbolic memorial. From the Memorial Overlook you can take in such sites as The Gates of Time, Reflecting Pool, and the spectacular Survivor Tree. Yet what gripped me the most was the Field of Empty Chairs, each of the 168 symbolizing a life lost, with smaller chairs representing the 19 children killed-children who never had a chance to grow up, to go on their first date, to get their driver's license, to turn 21, to get married, to raise a family, to LIVE! It all seems so wrong, so tragic, so heartbreaking. Why? I know there is no answer to that question. Evil exists and Satan loves to destroy. So where was God? I believe God was there in the midst of the chaos. He was there with the fire men, the ambulance workers, the churches that opened their doors, the people who flooded the city with volunteer help, the prayers of relatives, friends, and strangers all around the world. He was there carrying grief and giving comfort only those who experienced it can fully understand. In the city of Oklahoma many could atest to the truth of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in our tribulations, that we may be able to comfort those who are in trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Getting ready to leave

Tomorrow we fly out of Utila and return to the states. I won't miss the noseeums, rough seas, or ear infections but the warm sunshine, swaying coconut trees, authentic food, scuba fun, fishing(Hunter's love),kayaking and scooter fun will be memories we will relive often. Check out a few photos below.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Paddling through the mangroves

If you caught my last blog you read that I was nervous about my first night boat dive. Well, I did it and didn't get swept off course but it wasn't my favorite dive, probably because I had too many sensory imputs flowing through my head that I couldn't really concentrate on what was in front of my dive flashlight. The last 15 minutes were the worst. We were in shallower water with a great deal of surge. For someone dependent on dramamine to ward off seasickness this is the worst possible scenario. I managed to make it back into the boat before I "lost it"-thankfully. Hunter and I are not diving today because I need time for my sinus/ears to clear and for my body to enjoy a "dramamine free" day!
We "tackled" another adventure this morning-paddling through the mangroves to the other side of the island. Covered with both 70+ sunscreen and Off, sporting a jug of water and the camera, we borrowed one of the resort's sea kayaks and set off to find the mangrove channel we had heard was a "secret" natural treasure of this island.
It didn't take us but 20 minutes to locate the mouth of the channel so we paddled on. We knew it eventually emptied into the ocean on the north side of the island. It was a beautiful trip, quiet and peaceful, the mangroves often forming a canopy over our heads. Since the island is said to be 3 miles in width we assumed that was the distance we had to paddle. As we got closer to the north side we could hear the waves breaking on the shore and when we caught our first glimpse of the shimmering blue water it was a thrill. Oh, we do love our adventures!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Reflections on a week in "paradise"

After 8 days on the island of Utila I walked along the beach early this evening watching the coconut trees swaying in the gentle breeze and listening to the waves lap the shore and relected on our time here, thusfar. Here are some of my thoughts:

-greeting 1 foot iguanas crossing my path to breakfast every morning
-being startled by hand-sized crabs burrowing holes adjacent to our front steps
-finding myself more relaxed at 60 feet under the water and gaining confidence each dive
-joyful that I've had NO sea-sickness
-enjoying blue skies, little current, calm seas
-drinking coconut water on the rocks and eating tortillas hot off the griddle
-finding blessings everywhere, even in an ear infection forcing a three-day hiatus from diving giving me more quality time memorizing scripture and meditating
-reading two fantastic novels discovered in an upstairs used book library
-riding behind Hunter on a moped around the island, getting lost, and almost arrested after driving on the airport runway,(by mistake mind you)
-doing daily battle with "no-see-ums" (Yes, that is a biting insect's name and they are a cousin to the sand flea)(Although covered in bites I'm not giving up, just putting on MORE deet!!)
-nervously awaiting tomorrow night's dive-my first one from a boat in the dark! I've checked and double checked my flashlights and won't let Hunter out of my sight!